The inaugural West Africa Investment Forum is an opportunity for us to come together and celebrate the region’s growth. Before we do so, I would like to share a few of my thoughts on this exciting continent.
Africa has a larger landmass than India or China. Its population exceeds 1 billion. It is truly a young continent, with an average age of just 18 and these young people are increasingly well educated and exposed to global trends. They and subsequent generations can be the great opportunity for Africa if we can assist them to exploit the natural wealth of their continent.
The African continent is among the world’s largest providers of raw materials to global industry: it is the cradle of trillions of dollars’ worth of assets. Africa is endowed with abundance of oil, gold, silver, copper, iron ore, and coal among its wealth of natural resources. It is increasingly a vital centre for agri-business, forestry and fisheries. Africa and its people should not be considered poor, but asset-rich.
The purpose of our Forum today is to demonstrate to the world the importance of partnerships between governments, multi-lateral institutions and the private sector for timely and relevant development of infrastructure in Africa that can assist in unlocking the continent’s enormous wealth.
Our Forum will demonstrate how we can support the African people in developing their untouched and untapped resources. Improved infrastructure across the region will create jobs, facilitate industrial development and promote economic growth. To achieve these infrastructural developments, one thing above all is required: funding.
It is exciting, and a great personal honour for me to be involved in the development of the UEMOA region. We are making history today, and we are truly a part of West Africa’s future.
The company I am proud to have established, GFCL, regards itself as the bridge between investors, financial institutions, governments and contractors for bringing investment to the region and enhancing the process of infrastructural development.
My message at this inaugural Forum is simple: ‘Invest in UEMOA – invest in the future’.